Paul Black reviews the exhibition Adrian Ghenie: Golems at Pace Gallery, London, on view through July 25, 2014.
Black writes: "Ghenie presents himself in Self portrait as Charles Darwin, 2014, oil on canvas. Here the artist is at once the arbiter of scientific change, the cliché of the tortured intellectual, and the anamorphic threat of the Golem; the idea let loose to reek havoc. All of these elements are present in Ghenie’s Bacon-esque brush strokes. With a fluidity of paint the artist mingles his identity with that of the axiomatic historical figure; the blurring of the objective ‘Iconic’ with the subjective self. Adrian Ghenie highlights an era that questioned man’s significance, the existence of God, and the question of Creationism —through a use of paint that suggests the anamorphic nature of identity through the evolution of scientific understanding, and contradiction of the Baconian flesh that presents it."